Weekly SEO news: 14 March 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at problems with Google's Big Daddy update and we're telling you what you can do if your web pages have gone supplemental.

In the news: Microsoft releases Live.com search, Google ventures into eBooks and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Facts of the week: Google's Big Daddy update - Is your site supplemental?

Google's latest update Big Daddy continues to cause problems for some webmasters.

On the popular WebmasterWorld forum, many webmasters have reported that all of their web pages except for their index page have been moved to Google's supplemental index.

What are supplemental results?

Supplemental results in Google are from an alternate index. Google usually only uses this index if they cannot find relevant results in their normal index. That means that this index is only used for very obscure queries.

Google augments results for difficult queries by searching a supplemental collection of web pages. Results from this index are marked in green as "Supplemental."

Being in the supplemental index generally means that your web pages won't be included in the result pages for normal queries anymore.

How can you check if your web pages have gone supplemental?

Perform a Google search for site:mydomain.com (replace mydomain.com with your own domain name). If you see "supplemental result" next to the snippet then your web pages are supplemental.

Why does Google put so many web sites in the supplemental index?

It seems that this is simply a bug in the transition to the new Google data centers. One of the main reasons for Google's latest update was that Google wanted to solve problems with canonical URLs.

It might be that Google makes some web sites supplemental to identify the main domain of the site. Then Google might respider these sites using the new algorithm that can better handle canonical URLs.

What can you do if your web site is affected?

In the WebmasterWorld forums, a Google employee who posts under the name Googleguy asked webmasters to send their feedback to Google:

"I'm happy to ask someone to check this out. Please send an email to sesnyc06 [at] gmail.com with specific domains and the keyword 'gonesupplemental'.

I have a theory about this, which I'm asking the crawl/index guys to check out, but I'll need 5-10 specific examples to check if my theory holds. If my guess is right, I'll try to get the crawl/index folks to get things back to the previous behavior."

You shouldn't worry too much if your web site has been moved to Google's supplemental index. As soon as Google has rebuilt the new index, your web pages should be back in Google's main results.

If your web pages are still in the supplemental results in a week or two, contact Google at the email address mentioned above.

2. Search engine news of the week

MS releases Windows Live Search beta

"This beta version of the engine will be open for testing at the Live.com portal, the home page of the Live-branded initiative Microsoft launched in November to boost its software-as-service offerings. [...]

When testing is complete it will replace MSN Search and become the search engine of Microsoft's MSN.com web portal."

Google ventures into eBooks

"Users will get access to purchased book through their browser only, and will not be allowed to save local copies of the book or copy pages."

Search engine newslets

3. Articles of the week

Barry Diller on search

"Barry Diller was the keynote speaker at the recent Search Engine Strategies (SES) Conference in New York City. In his session interview with Danny Sullivan, he discussed the exciting new changes happening at Ask.com, formerly Ask Jeeves."

Yahoo! Power

"Although the name may still be embarrassing, Yahoo!'s growing powers are anything but. [...] There's more to life than search, these days. Take a look at these reviews and find out how much more you can be getting out of Yahoo!."

25 things I hate about Google

    "Google's purchase of Writely sort of drove me over the edge last week. When I saw the news confirmed, I exclaimed out loud to myself, 'Oh, give me a break.' A break from what, freakishly talking to myself? No, a break from Google going in yet another direction when there is so much stuff they haven't finished, gotten right or need to fix."

Paid search spawns 'drafting' and 'hijacking' strategies

    "Competitiveness in the emerging paid search landscape spawns controversial tactics such as the two practices loosely termed 'hijacking' and 'drafting' by some industry insiders. While some search engine marketing (SEM) firms object to the strategies, others say they're fair game."


Searching for the net's big thing

    "You may not know it, but every time you search on Google, the company makes 12 cents in revenue. [...] No longer do the different search sites compete on how many results they can provide to people not least because, as even Google admits, most people get what they want in the first five results returned to them."

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4. Preview of the next ARELIS version - part 6

We're currently working on a new ARELIS version. The new ARELIS version will have many new features and many improvements.

We think that it will be the best and most complete link exchange, link popularity and off-site web promotion solution. In the next few weeks, we'll show a preview of some of the new ARELIS features in this newsletter.

Part 6: Easily make your link pages more attractive to web surfers, link partners and search engines

The new ARELIS version will allow you to fully customize the category pages of your link directory. You can specify the exact file name, you can add custom text for your category pages and much more:

Fully customizable category pages

If you have a category "shoes" in your link directory, you can add an article about shoes at the top of your category pages. The web page for that category could have the name shoes.htm, the-history-of-shoes.htm or whatever you want.

By adding articles or other relevant content to your link directory pages, you can make your link directory much more attractive to both web surfers and search engines.

  • Web surfers will like the additional information they get on your category pages.

  • Your link partners will appreciate the additional content on your category pages because it makes your category pages more relevant to a special topic. In addition, an "additional resources" link below a related article looks much more useful than a link that stands on its own.

  • Search engines will give your category pages a boost because they contain useful content with related links. That means that your ARELIS category pages will contain exactly what search engines are looking for.

It's a free update for registered users

The features above are only one of many new features that will be available in the new ARELIS version. A public preview of the new ARELIS version is planned for this month. We'll announce its official release in this newsletter.

Although the new version will have many more features than the current ARELIS version, it will be a free update for registered users of the current ARELIS version.

If you haven't tested the current ARELIS version yet, you should do so now.

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5. Recommended resources

"A serious, spam-free reciprocal links solution for professional webmasters"

"ARELIS is a top-rated software program that helps you to build a powerful business network quickly and easily.

Your business will benefit in many ways from that network: You'll get highly targeted visitors to your web site, you'll benefit from new business contacts and your web site will get a higher ranking on search engines because of higher link popularity.

ARELIS helps you to establish many high quality reciprocal links that point to your web site. It is the first software program that provides a serious, spam-free reciprocal links solution for professional webmasters."
5 out of 5 rating on Windfile.com

Find out what really works for your business

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AxROI helps you to beat your competition.

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6. Previous articles

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